Calgary Stampede sends about 20 horses per year to slaughterhouse previously accused of inhumane practices

Posted by Zoey Duncan on Friday, June 1, 2012

 The Calgary Stampede annually faces criticism from animal rights groups for its use of animals in its rodeo events. But just five weeks ahead of the 100th anniversary of the “Greatest Show on Earth”, another contentious—but not uncommon—rodeo practice has emerged.

The Calgary Herald reports about 20 horses from the Calgary Stampede’s ranch of 600 are sent to a Fort MacLeod slaughterhouse each year because they’re deemed unfit as companion animals or to participate in the rodeo.

Calgary Stampede spokesperson Doug Fraser denied reports that horses are sent to Bouvry Exports meat processing plant because they’re unable to buck well enough. Rather, he tells OpenFile they’re given a “humane end of life” due to age, temperament or physiological issues.

While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency uses the term “slaughter” when it comes to horses, Fraser declined to use that term, telling us: “It’s a meat-rendering plant. Using the word slaughter is torqueing it if I may put it bluntly. Certainly horses are rendered for their meat, but just the same as cattle are rendered for their meat.”

Throughout our interview, Fraser uses the terms “euthanize” and “humane end of life” to describe treatment of the horses. However, Bouvry Exports, that “meat-rendering” facility/slaughterhouse (pick your own noun), was the target of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition for alleged inhumane treatment of horses in 2010. Fraser was unable to confirm how long Bouvry and the Stampede have worked together.


  1. […] addition,  the Stampede organizers recently admitted that about 20 horses a year bred at the Calgary Stampede ranch that aren’t angry enough to entertain spectators at the […]

  2. […] addition,  the Stampede organizers recently admitted that about 20 horses a year bred at the Calgary Stampede ranch that aren’t angry enough to entertain spectators at the […]


  4. shoshone · ·

    They ADMIT to sending 20 horses per year for slaughter out of 600 head. I think that number is bs. One hundred breeding mares equals 100 foals per year. There is really no way that all but 20 out of 100 are going to be really good buckers. Remember poor Betty who said “You have to breed 100 horses a year to get two good ones.” She was just raising regular pleasure horses..

  5. don’t feel bad. i have the misfortune of living next to a rodeo stock contractor. they do the same thing. i watch these beautiful animals come and go by the dozens each month. they roam the beautiful pasture, then they disappear.

  6. One thing to remember…..NONE of these horses they ‘buck’ are bucking on their own….ALL OF THEM WEAR A ‘BUCKING STRAP’ that ‘makes’ them buck as they want it off of their flanks. Do you really think that the horse would continue to buck & buck hard just cause a rider is on him for 8sec.?

    1. 2fasthorses · ·

      Don’t forget the electric shock to start it off right ….

  7. They just can’t call a spade, a spade. If they did it would depreciate their self image. They are just nasty MFs who firstly torture these horses into Rodeo Broncs; and if they break down or aren’t good enough, because they won’t do what the torturers want them to do, they send them off to a heinous death at the “Slaughter House”. There is just no pretty way to describe this. Horse Concentration Camp then to the Knacker. Lets stop playing with words to pretty up a disgusting, frightening end to a horses life.

  8. After these horses make money for the stock contractor, why can’t they be HUMANELY euthanized???? These people KNOW horses; they KNOW it’s impossible to “humanely slaughter” a horse!!! Knowing this goes on sure takes travelling to see the Calgary Stampede OFF my “to do” list!!!

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